Tell me your commuting or cycling story and win £50 pounds!

Note that this competition is now closed! Thanks for everyone that entered, some really interesting stories to have a read through below about everyone’s daily commute. Cheers for entering and I definitely want to have more competitions like this in future!

I was contacted recently by Nick from vouchercodes.co.uk who wanted to run a competition on London Cyclist Blog. He asked me if I wanted to give a £50 voucher away to one of my readers. Silly question! Who wouldn’t!

I have requested that the voucher be for Wiggle which is where I tend to get my gear from and also I know they deliver to over 70 countries so this can appeal to more people.

So how do you win this lovely prize?

All I want you to do is tell me your story! I want to hear about your daily commute, your daily bit of cycling or a funny story that has happened to you while you have been out cycling. So for example:

“I cycle 5 miles into work on my Marin San Anselmo and it takes me 22 minutes. I love whizzing past stationary cars with frustrated motorists and arriving into work awake and ready for the day. My funniest cycling experience has been when I cycled around Vietnam. There were loads of people cycling against the oncoming traffic and yet no one was batting an eye lid.”

Make sure when you enter your story in the comment box below you put your correct email address in the relevant box so I can contact you if you have won.

It is of course one entry per person, the competition will be running for a week and the winner will be chosen by assigning each comment a number and then generating a random number using Excel. (Not even Darren Brown could predict this one!)

The £50 voucher is courtesy of vouchercodes.co.uk which have good discount codes you can use on cycling gear. You may want to checkout an Evans Cycles Promotional Code, a Blacks Promotional Code or Halfords Voucher Codes. The terms and conditions for this competition are here.

I wish everyone good luck and I will be very jealous of whoever wins the £50 voucher!

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22 Responses to Tell me your commuting or cycling story and win £50 pounds!

  1. John Donnelly 22/10/2009 at 2:56 pm #

    It’s not just car drivers that can’t see other vehicles on the road. A while ago I’d pulled up to T-junction on a main road waiting for a gap in the traffic. While I was waiting an American lady on a touring cycle pulled up next to me. As I waited for a large white bus to go past she pulled out directly into the side of the bus which flipped her up in the air. After I helped her up she said “I didn’t see it coming.”

  2. Randy 22/10/2009 at 5:08 pm #

    I cycle seven miles to and from school. It started because we are a one car family and i wanted to leave the car at home for my wife. It has now blossomed into an obsession. I built up my first road bike this past spring and am currently restoring an old bicycle from the 60’s for my wife. All i think about is what bike i want to build up next. I now cycle as much as possible and look forward to riding my bike everyday. I just wish my commute was longer.

  3. Helen 22/10/2009 at 7:16 pm #

    I cycle to work every day in South London on my sexy orange bike. I’d love to say that the favourite part of my commute is knowing I’m being avoiding the commuter crush, storming past cars or getting some exercise. I could say that it makes me feel smug about my carbon footprint, or that it’s just the done thing at my workplace (I work for Eye Books, who publish many cycling titles).

    However, if I’m truly honest with myself, I have to admit that the best bit of my commute is storming past trendy boys on fixies and Lycra fiends on carbon machines whilst wearing a dress and looking nonchalant.

    Cycling wins. Just hope I do too…

    Check out our book Crap Cycle Lanes, featured on the Guardian website yesterday! http://tinyurl.com/yfnm8sn

  4. Lucy 22/10/2009 at 7:29 pm #

    I cycle to my two jobs in Clerkenwell and Victoria everyday, finding new scenic hideaways and shortcuts each time. Cutting through traffic like a knife through butter and enjoying it! It gives me a little bit too much pleasure knowing how much I am saving, and how much it is costing those polluting the air I have to breathe in. For the first time in I-can’t-remember-how-long, I used the tube to get to an Interview and I am still feeling sick from the concentrated swine-flu that seems to have replaced the air down there! If that’s not positive reinforcement for cycling then I don’t know what is! The more I cycle, the happier I am – even in the rain I feel a sense of freedom, and of superiority in that I am not afraid to brave the elements! That said having a Bianchi that does all the work for me is definitely a plus – I don’t even consider it exercise!

  5. Tom 22/10/2009 at 7:33 pm #

    I cycle to work every day, from the depths of south South London to Aldwych. It’s a 15 mile journey, it takes me just under an hour, less if the lights are being generous, and I do it for the sense of smug satisfaction as I whizz past everyone else, be it car or nonchalant dress wearing cyclists, wearing lycra on my singlespeed.
    That and the fact that getting the train in to work every day takes just as long, is considerably more expensive, and is far less pleasant.
    The highlight of the journey is everyone else who “isn’t racing”, that charming unspoken-of competition as we all bomb down the Old Kent Road…

  6. Oliver 22/10/2009 at 7:37 pm #

    I used to be a tuber, then a busser, but now I am a cycle commuter! I enjoy my windy route into work every morning, carefully avoiding the traffic, and trying to find the most scenic and best paved route possible, which is quite a challenge in south london…

    Along my route I have enjoyed many anomalies. A kid threw a brick at me not so long ago (he missed). Another threw a snowball when it snowed (he didn’t miss). A van man told me to “f*** off city b******s!” I’m not even a city boy! But most of all I savour the crisp wind on my face, and cycling into the sunrise in the morning. It’s so much better than the tube.

  7. David Webb 22/10/2009 at 7:49 pm #

    I’ve just got a new job in central London and one of the things i’m looking forward to the most is riding a bike to work rather than two trains and a bus. Whoop!

    I’m thinking of buying a cotic roadrat don’t think my Electra cruiser will cut it on an 8mile commute ;-)

  8. Teresa 22/10/2009 at 8:36 pm #

    I cycle every day from Clapham to Oxford Circus. In the morning I go to the gym before work, so I generally leave the house at 6am.

    At 6am, there is barely any traffic and the journey can take around 20 minutes, and clapham to chelsea bridge is a traffic free race track (bar the odd bus). This means that there is the occasional ‘little race’ between us roadies… To the guy who wears yellow shades at 6am (when it is dark) on Thursdays, please don’t try and race me again, I’ve won every time so far ;o)

    Like so many other cyclists, i often feel that i’m selected as target practice by certain black cab drivers… Our reactions to this can vary. My (possibly worst) best reaction after one particular driver sat on my back wheel beeping around hyde park corner as i was ‘in the way’ (he shouted out of the window, even though i had every right to be there) I caught him up at the next set of lights and opened the boot. After doing my heart sank as i saw a police car sat in full view of the spectacle. It then rose again after I saw that the police it contained were pissing themselves laughing.

    You gotta love commuting in London!

  9. raffazizzi 22/10/2009 at 9:24 pm #

    I cycle every day from Bethnal Green to Holborn on my amazing second hand bike :P
    It’s about 5 miles and takes me about 25 minutes, I try to avoid the traffic as much as I can, but always end up stucked inHolborn! Argh! It’s actually the first time in two years I’ve lived in London that it takes me longer to cycle than take the tube. But I won’t give up! It’s a lot more fun and rewarding.
    To anyone who misses reading a book while commuting (I used to enjoy that!) just get some podcasts/audiobook on your mp3 player – I find it great for cycling to work ;)

  10. Lee 22/10/2009 at 9:34 pm #

    I commute to work every day, rain or shine. My commute is only 4km each way, and is downhill on the way in, and uphill on the way back. Perfect…

    On Sunday, I was called into work at 21:00hrs to fix the network. So I grabbed my bike, attached the lights and set off into the night. Half way there I heard the sound all commuters hate; “thunk – hiss – hissss – hisssss– hisssss– hissssss– hissssssss”.

    What can I say, punctures happen. But what was different this time, and has really restored my faith in humanity, was that 2 people in cars stopped to make sure I was ok. One of them was an old lady, twice my age and half my size, who generously offered to help me mend it. Best puncture I ever had :o)

  11. ines 22/10/2009 at 9:46 pm #

    I cycle some days of the week , when i don’t have classes :)
    I like to do minimum 40km , it is a great sport , I love when i meet other cyclists along the way .
    Doesn’t mather if it’s raining or sunny all that mathers is that i’m riding my bike :D

  12. David 22/10/2009 at 9:49 pm #

    With my bike London is small and beautiful. My journey goes east to west, then west to east, always with the sun on my back. The head wind in the morning befits the struggle into work, but the wind behind me on the way back pushes me home, like one magnet pushes away an opposing magnet.

  13. Kylie ap Garth 22/10/2009 at 9:50 pm #

    I cycle about 4 miles to work in the morning, varying between a road route and a cycle path. On two days a week my husband comes with me when he’s based in Central London.
    I’ve had quite a history of bikes. My first was a green, heavy second-hand bike that a friend no longer needed. Unfortunately it didn’t survive a crash after a car veered in front of me to turn a corner. My next bike I forked out a heap of cash for & I absolutely loved (it was so fast!) but it only lasted a couple of months before thieves broke into the basement at my old flat and stole it. My next bike was another hand-me-down, a lovely old hybrid, but it was stolen (despite being secured with a D-lock) from a busy street I work on. The bike after that was an old collapsible commuter bike that I got from a friend that was unbelievably slow & eventually fell to pieces. My current bike is the white bike my friend gave me when she moved to Spain, it’s my first ladies bike & it’s just got a new chain. It hasn’t been crashed into, stolen or fallen apart… yet!

  14. Liam 23/10/2009 at 8:31 am #

    A few years ago I started working from home which has many advantages.

    Best of all is the commute of about 5 seconds into the spare bedroom/office, worst of all is the loss of the ride at the start and end of the day. I was discussing this with a cycling friend the other day and he said ‘the trouble with cycle commuting is that your working day has two high points – neither of which happen in the workplace!”.

    But the big upside is that when the day gets a bit sh*tty or when I’ve been a good boy and done all I need to, I can drag the bike out and steal a cheeky hour or so.

    I managed all my training for the 2007 Paris Brest Paris by nipping out for an hour here and an hour there.

    I’ve been offered a new job back in Central London and I’m trying to make sure that the opportunity to return to a cycle-commute doesn’t cloud my decision whether to accept or not!

  15. Mark 23/10/2009 at 9:39 am #

    When I moved from American to London 4 years ago, a bicycle was the first thing I bought – even before sorting out a permanent place to live! I had heard public transport was expensive here and that travelling by bike was the quickest way to get around the city. 4 years on, I still cycle everywhere, from my daily work commute to weekend joyrides.

    I love overtaking cars while riding at a completely safe, reasonable pace. Not maniacal, bobbing and weaving across traffic, but just calming blowing past them when they’re in stand-still traffic.

    I recently attached a miniature camera to my helmet so I could record my rides. I’m not exactly sure what I’ll do with all the footage!

  16. Adam 23/10/2009 at 9:52 am #

    I cycle to & from the station (in West Sussex) 5 days a week. Rain or shine, light or dark, sleet, snow, drizzle and fog. Crisp mornings and lazy evenings. Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn. I love it and wouldn’t go without. There is traffic, but it’s rarely busy. When I was a student (lived and cycled in London) I’d often have a pocket full of rice. A handful of that thrown at a careless driver wakes them up, but does them no damage. I wouldn’t condone it nor would I do it anymore. But it was an amusing way of venting frustration at taxis, mercedes drivers and, on one occasion, a porsche driven by a muppet in Hammersmith. I was only knocked off once, by a pregnant lady driving her car in a rush to the hospital to have her baby. First day of my finals, but my concern was more for her. That child will now be 18. Hope he or she’s having a good life and is a careful cyclist.

  17. Nigel 23/10/2009 at 9:58 am #

    I have just moved off the isle of Wight and commute back to the island 3 days a week. Using my trustee Mezzo my morning commute involves a cycle-ferry-cycle-car-cycle getting to work and the reverse going home!

    Each afternoon when I return to Lymington and as the ramp lowers on the ferry I glance anxiously at the railway station clock. How many minutes past is it, will I make it?
    Make what you ask; why does this folding bicycle maniac launch himself off the ramp each afternoon if a flurry of whirling pedals? If clock reads 17:10 and under I can pedal a mile up the road and beat the 14 minutes past train to the crossing, getting home earlier for tea! 11 minute past and its tight, 12 minutes past and I saunter up the road casually slide by the queuing cars at the crossing gates and assume my rightful place at the front of the queue.

  18. anniebah 23/10/2009 at 1:55 pm #

    Trying to get the hang of riding at 57 isn’t easy. First effort I tried to answer my mobile while cycling and fell off and twisted my ankle and broke the bike. Second effort on new bike, my water bottle made an exit from its holder as I unsteadily made my way down the road – I reached for it to save it from falling under my bike wheel and promptly fell off onto the bonnet of a slow-moving car with a very abusive driver. I am learning slowly though and try to stay on bike paths where I am most comfortable. It is a great pleasure but hard to be confident so think of me as I push and pedal onwards!

  19. Josh 23/10/2009 at 4:38 pm #

    A sporadically but committed cyclist, my morning commute is from Petticoat Lane on the outskirts of hipster country, to the centre of London in Trafalgar square. This route takes in the always exciting tunnel on Lower Thames Street and the Embankment, where coach drivers delivering city workers constantly challenge themselves on how close they can shave my legs with their luggage compartment doors.

    A lover of bikes from a young age, I recently tried to rekindle my childhood love of the 80’s BMX culture, with the purchase of the Mongoose anniversary edition of their 1978 model. Only 500 made and collectors’ edition the sales bumph told me. And I believed it. I also believed that I would now be a BMX freestyle wizard when all those years ago, as a weedy 11 year old, I was barely strong enough to rest my Raleigh Burner from gravity’s grasp.

    How wrong I was. My new nostalgic ride was nothing more than a cheap replica of the models that I coveted as a young boy, seemingly weighing about the same as my washing machine. More than that, there is nothing sadder than seeing a man in his mid-thirties riding a bike several sizes too small for him along with pads and old school number plate. It has found a place however and that is hanging on my wall. I find that my new Boardman road bike is much better suited, and certainly faster, for getting round town.

  20. tim 28/10/2009 at 12:13 pm #

    8 miles each way rain or shine. favourite part is knowing i’ll be home before my son goes to bed (even with a puncture) and spending the money i’m saving from the train on shiny things also makes me smile.

  21. jane 28/10/2009 at 9:13 pm #

    i love my cycle commute; it means that i never have a really bad day. i have an old claud butler mixte and i ride from waterloo to various destinations north of the river – usually either hampstead (5 miles, about 30 minutes) or warren street (2.5 miles or so, and only 15 minutes…). i costs me nothing and i am never, ever late for work or grumpy when i get there. it definitely beats the tube hands-down and i only wish i lived further away!

  22. Andreas 29/10/2009 at 9:02 am #

    Right thanks everyone for your entries!
    *****I think we will stop it here*****

    I’ll do a random number generator from 1 to 21 and announce the winner shortly. I wish you all good luck and thanks so much for your entries it has been so interesting reading through, think we have some good linguists following here on London Cyclist! Very entertaining reading :)

    Winner announced: Here

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